– Hi, today we’re gonna be talking about asbestos exposure in the military forces, positions it could have caused who could have been uncovered, different benefits you can get. So we hope that you’ll attach us in order to discuss this information.( upbeat music) Hi, and welcome back to Hill& Ponton VA Disability Blog.( forte-piano music) My name is Natalia Jofre, I’m the company COO. – And I’m Attorney Melanie Williams. – And today Melanie andI are gonna be talking about a fairly hot topic, which is asbestos exposurein the military service. So, Melanie, I knowthat we be informed about this, we ascertain commercial-grades about it. But what we’re gonna do todayis a little bit different because we’re gonnatalk about how veterans are exclusively, or couldhave been specifically to be subject to asbestos.But I wanna go back to a littlebit more basic information and then we’ll grow from there. Can you tell everybody, what is asbestos? Is it a natural element or what is it? – Yes, so it is a naturallyoccurring material. It’s found in stones and soils. Not to get too technical but it’s composed ofthin needle-like fibers that are actually soft and adaptable. The important thing that wewould need to know about it is that it’s heat resistant, so it’s used as a fervor resistant, as insulating material, and it can be used tomake fabrics stronger like cement and plastic. So, that’s why it’s used sowidely in so many manufactures, because it has, you are familiar with, great benefits to different materials. The problem with it is thatwhen it’s inhaled or ingested, it becomes permanentlytrapped in the body, which can then cause inflammation, scarring, genetic shattering, which could then leadto cancers and diseases. Basically what you need to know, it’s been banned inmore than 60 countries, but it hasn’t been banned in the US. So, that kind of shows how bad it can be.- Wow – Yeah.- That’s kind of sad and horrific. So it can, it is purposely abused. I thought that it was just, you know, inherently, you are familiar with, inauspicious thatsometimes it’s present in certain information. Like, I know we hear about talc cases and it’s because like you said, you are familiar with, it comes from cliffs and minerals and so, inherently, itwas sometimes in the talc or in the materials used for talc, but sometimes it is purposely used in order, like in plaster? – Yeah, it is purposely used for its profitable factors, like the fact that it’s heat resistant and it’s used as insulationand things like that. I foresee the negative health effects about it weren’t realized until later, and we’ll talk about thatin a little bit as to why.- Okay. So speaking of, you know, when youcould have been disclosed, who may have been exposedto this in the military? – So if you served in themilitary from the 1930 s to the 1970 s, in allbranches, you are at high risk because the military used it extensively. In the army and the air force, both used asbestos and electrical cable, separation vehicles. The Navy and the Marinesused it in ships, shipyards, airliners, other armoured vehicle. And to those used carries, theyalso had good breathing, which prepares somethinglike asbestos a lot worse. If you were a vehicle machinist, so while play-act routinemaintenance work on vehicles, there were asbestoses in brakepads, clutches, bearings, gaskets, aircraft auto-mechanics, because it was also used inthe rudders, gasoline structures, hydraulic arrangements, veterans who work with boiler plans, piping or cooling systems. Harmonizing to the VA, this is the list of, they say any veteran “whos working” in the followingcould have been uncovered. Ship yards, structure, carpentry, demolition, mining and milling, insulation, hoses, roofing, flooring, plaster membranes, and resistance concoctions. So it’s a lot.- Oh my goodness! – Not exclusively that, you could have also been uncovered because it could have been hiddenin your sleeping quarters or within vehicles, withinweapons, within buildings.And, it’s not only veteransfrom the 1930 s to 1970 s. Also, they have found that in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East, they imported a large quantity of asbestos in recent years for building. So, if a house was razed, desert hurricanes could havespread the asbestos for miles, disclosing all the veteransthat served in Iraq, – You’re going down this list, which is almost incomprehensible to me. And, I’m sitting here suppose, well, you’re prettymuch shield,( belittles) I make, that’s a lot of stages of showing if “youre in” the service- Yes. during those years.- Yes.- There were a lot of opportunities for you to be uncovered, – Right. – You know, it’s so interesting, you give this informationand I don’t think you realize like how, informative itis, how mind-boggling it is. Like, I ever contemplated asbestos was something thatsometimes unfortunately in the seventies was in the isolation. And so you breathed itthrough these ventilates, you are familiar with, we we’ve heard of sick structures and that, that was pretty much, you know it was just a happenstance and an shameful co-occurrence, but from what you’re sayingand the space it was used, I mean that it was actually even exercised. – Yes – This is crazy, and wewere just talking earlier about Vietnam veterans. And so this is still a large portion of our population thatcould have been exposed to asbestos and have states as a resultof that showing right now.Like this is no longer, – Right. – I think that lots of ages people visualize, Oh, this was a long time ago, so this isn’t affecting me now. This item, this doesn’t prepare but, simply the directory that you demonstrated, shipyards, creation, carpentry, the mining, the milling, and then the fact that you said that it could have been living quarters. Goodness gracious. And then you were sayingthat even in recent battles with Iraq, did you sayIraq and Afghanistan were importing it? – Iraq specifically, but other countries in the middle East as well. So it’s likely. – Okay. Okay. So return us an idea what medical conditions arelinked to asbestos exposure. Because you may have acondition and be like, I had no idea this could havebeen because of asbestos. So, – Right. – Can you open us an idea of what some of those conditions “couldve been”? – Yes, so there are cancerous and there are alsonon-cancerous situations. They’re going to revolvemostly around the lungs. The most popular is what’scalled mesothelioma.It’s a cancer thatoccurs in the thin coating of tissue that clothes themajority of the internal organ. It’s almost exclusivelycaused by asbestos. So that’s why that’s theone that we listen “the worlds largest”. – Yes. – There’s also lungcancer, ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer, and then some of the non-cancerousconditions, asbestosis, which is scarring of the lung material that justification breathing difficulties. COPD, chronic obstructivepulmonary malady. There’s also pleural medals and effusions and disperse pleural thickening. Mostly it’s scarringin the inner face of the rib cage and theareas encircling the lungs. So it can cause breathing questions. So you’ll wanna look for indications like sting, cough, breathlessness, shortness of breath, hurting around the rib area. Just, different lung-related ailments. – I know that you mentioned asbestosis, and I know from myexperience with these cases because there’s also masstorts claims by the way, associated with these claims and just so that peopleknow you can have both, you can pursue a claimfor veteran benefits or disability benefits as a result of, illness suffered from asbestos exposure.And you could also have, you know, a mass torts claim, because of this revelation as well. So they’re not like mutually exclusive. – Right – But you mentioned asbestosis. So, only to touch on that really quickly, can you qualify for benefits for asbestosis as wellas, asbestos show or, and for that health? – Yeah, so asbestos showing is not a condition in and of itself. So that’s not something that you claim. You claim a condition or an illness or a disease that “youve had”. So asbestosis is the condition, that is the diagnosis thatyou would be claiming for. And again, whether it’s, you know mesotheliomaor any other condition, you’re claiming that thecondition that you have, and then the cause of itis the asbestos exposure. – Okay. Is it difficult to prove theexposure to the asbestos? – Just like anything else with the VA you’ll wanna make sure thatyou have, sufficient evidence. So you’ll either want your service records or you’ll wanna stipulate the following statement or you’re gonna specify your MLS, what your military duties were, describe duties and responsibilities in detail.And you’ll wanna talkabout how you were disclosed, how often and for how long. And then that’s gonna have been established by, because we know all these different areas where exposure was used, that’s gonna help show thatyou were exposed to asbestos – Talking about exposure, what if, what, and we, I think we have a lot of veterans that could be used to fell within this. What if you were exposed toseveral different things? I necessitate, what if you wereexposed to asbestos, but you were also exposed to Agent Orange, but you were also exposedto other herbicides, you are familiar with, how do they figure that out? Or how do they are aware which one, which umbrella to put you under, I approximate? – Right. So, – Or does it matter? – So each, exposure or noxious chemical is gonna have its own sort ofset of infections or situations. So like for Agent orange, we know there are certainpresumptive plights like diabetes type two.Asbestos showing does not have its own presumptive situations but, you know, the lung conditionsare more related to asbestos while, Agent orange has differentother types of conditions. So it’s gonna depend onwhat medical exhibit indicates, what science studies is demonstrating that what status are caused by, which, type of exposureor which compounds. So mostly you’ll wannaclaim all the conditions that you have and explainthe different ways that “youre gonna” uncovered. And then a doctor, either the VA examiner or your own doctor willkinda help figure out what situations do youhave that are due to what toxic exposures.- Okay, enormous. Any other admonition youcan give on these land claims and perhaps, can you tellveterans what to do if they feel that they have been exposed to asbestos? – Yes. So, one of the difficult thingswith these asbestos claims is they may not, your milieu may not showup for years and times. It can remain in your organization for decades. We’re talking 10 to 70 yearsafter your initial exposure.Cancers can take 20 to50 years to develop. So you may have beenexposed in the seventies and then now is whenyou’re having symptoms and you wouldn’t even thinkthat it’s due to asbestos. But so you’ll wanna talk to your doctor, whatever you notice, whatever you feel, particularly related to lung situations, made to ensure that you talk to your doctor so that they can give you a suitable diagnosis.And then you’ll wanna try and think back and remember how you couldhave been exposed to asbestos and then have the doctormake that connection for you. – Okay. As normal, great information, Melanie. Thank you. – Thanks. – If you have any questions orwant additional information, please feel free to call our website or scold our office. Otherwise, thanks for joining us. – Thanks.( piano music continues ).